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Instant Pot IKEA Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)

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These Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs (Köttbullar) are so easy to make and will have you reminiscing about your last trip there. Perfect in flavor and texture, and faster to make than you can drive to IKEA.

Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs presentation

We start with our take on a traditional recipe passed down from Björn’s Swedish mormor (grandmother) with meatball ingredients.

We then add a modern twist by making it in the Instant Pot, with the addition of the creamy sauce, à la IKEA.

We’ve been making Italian meatballs with marinara sauce in the Instant Pot for the longest time, and it’s been so convenient, to start at the last minute. Dinner is always a success and it’s really so simple.

We thought, why not make Swedish meatballs in the Instant Pot? They can be cooked quick as well, and the gravy can be made beautifully in sauté mode afterward.

We tried it and it’s the only way we’ll make them from now on. These copycat IKEA Swedish meatballs, are super tasty and unbelievable easy to make.

Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs closeup 1

The secret to getting the meatball texture similar to IKEA’s, is to use a sturdy meat processor, strong enough to mix the meat into more of a paste than what you can do by hand.

You can also do this with the paddle on a Kitchenaid stand mixer. This will ensure that the texture of the meatballs are denser, similar to the ones at IKEA.

And it makes sense. Surely, they have quite the industrialized machines ready to easily process the quantity of meatballs they require.

That takes care of the meatballs, and, now on to that amazing meatball gravy.

Everyone loves gravy, am I right?

But, we don’t always love heavy cream in our meals. That’s why we make a substitution for heavy cream in our recipe.

Instead of heavy or double cream, we use Turkish labneh (a thick yogurt similar in flavor and texture to cream cheese). In this recipe, you won’t miss the cream at all!

We love to substitute labneh for cream in recipes and the results will not disappoint. In fact, once you try it, you’ll fall in love.

And, if you’d like to skip the gravy altogether, you can do that as we have included the recipe without gravy as well.

Content in this Post

Ingredients in Instant Pot IKEA Swedish Meatballs With Gravy

Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs ingredients mise en place 2
Instant Pot IKEA Swedish Meatballs With Gravy Recipe Mise En Place
  • Ground Meat — Our best result has been with half beef and half pork, and we highly recommend this meat mix. But you can use all beef if you prefer. Or you can alter the ratio of beef to pork if you like. Other types of ground meat, chicken, lamb, turkey can be substituted as well.
  • Milk
  • Bread Crumbs — regular bread crumbs.
  • Egg — one egg, to help with binding the meatballs.
  • Butter — we use salted butter, but you can use unsalted. Add a quarter to a half teaspoon of salt to the recipe if using unsalted butter.
  • Seasoning Salt — or you can use Swedish Grill Spice (Grillkrydda) — a basic spice blend with pepper and other common spices.
  • Beef Broth — if you don’t have beef broth, you can substitute chicken broth, with a tablespoon of soy sauce added. It is super delish as well and you might even find that you prefer it this way.
  • Flour — used to help thicken the meatball gravy at the end of the cooking process.
  • Labneh — also used to thicken the gravy. Labneh is a thick yogurt similar to cream cheese in flavor and texture and it adds just the right creaminess to the gravy.

*NOTE: IF you’d like to make Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs without gravy – omit the last three ingredients in the list. However, you will need to add a cup of water or broth to the Instant Pot for it to come to pressure. And the step of deglazing the pot after browning the meatballs is still necessary to avoid the Instant Pot burn notification.

Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs ingredients mise en place 1
Instant Pot IKEA Swedish Meatballs Without Gravy Recipe Mise En Place

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Lower Carb Variation of IKEA Swedish Meatballs

To make these meatballs lower in carbs, you can substitute almond flour for the all purpose flour and sub cream for the milk.

Also, you may want to skip the gravy or use it sparingly. To make the gravy lower in carbs, sub finely ground almond flour for the all purpose flour. There are other types of flours that can be used instead of all purpose flour such as coconut flour.

How To Make Instant Pot IKEA Swedish Meatballs With Gravy

Copycat Instant Pot Swedish meatballs are easy to make and a popular dish that everyone will love.

STEP 1 – Make the meatball mix (blend in strong food processor). This is to ensure the meatballs have a denser texture than what is possible with mixing by hand. We use the paddle function on a Kitchenaid stand mixer.

STEP 2 – Portion and roll into equal sized balls.

Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs step 6

Brown half in the Instant pot using sauté mode with butter. Remove the browned meatballs and repeat with the second half.

Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs step 8

You don’t want to overcrowd them in the pot, so it’s best to take this in two sessions so the meatballs retain their round shape. Remove the second batch of browned meatballs.

STEP 3 – Pour in the broth (you can use chicken broth with a tablespoon of soy sauce or beef broth) and deglaze the bottom of the Instant Pot to remove all of the stuck brown bits, that will help to flavor the gravy. Deglazing is also important to ensure you won’t get a burn message on your Instant Pot.

Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs step 9

STEP 4 – Add in a trivet, and place browned meatballs on the trivet. Fasten the lid securely, turn the knob to sealing, and cook the meatballs on HIGH pressure for 7 minutes, followed by a quick release.

Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs step 11

STEP 5 – Remove cooked meatballs to a serving dish and make the gravy. To the Instant Pot broth, in saute mode, add the flour and labneh, whisk well, and let thicken.

It’s helpful to remove a small portion of the broth to a bowl and whisk the flour into it before adding it all back into the Instant Pot. This is to ensure that the gravy is smooth, without clumps from the flour.

Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs gravy step 2

What To Serve With Instant Pot IKEA Swedish Meatballs

You’ll love to have mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles along with your Swedish meatballs. Those are perfect for catching all of that delicious meatball gravy!

We especially love root vegetable mash, called rotmos in Swedish. It’s a delicious blend of mashed sweet potato, parsnips and carrots that is a sweeter alternative to mashed potatoes. Or you can be creative with your own combination of favorite root vegetables.

With Swedish meatballs, it’s also typical to serve lingonberry jam, or cranberry sauce if you can’t find lingonberries, on the side. You can find lingonberry jam at IKEA’s supermarket, and well stocked local grocery stores might carry it.

Try this cranberry pineapple sauce Instant Pot recipe, you can make ahead of time. It’s spicy so omit the chili powder if you prefer mild sauce.

You can serve Swedish meatballs with plain egg noodles or rice, if you like.

A salad is always a nice option to go with meat and potatoes. A regular house style side salad is a perfect choice. One of our favorite salads that goes with everything is this asparagus cucumber salad.

You can also serve copycat IKEA Swedish meatballs with steamed vegetables, like broccoli, peas, green beans, corn, carrots and cauliflower.

It’s great as part of a festive meal, with Jansson’s Temptation aka Jansson’s Frestelse, ribs, pickled herring (sill), red beet salad etc.

Make the leftover meatballs into a Swedish style open faced sandwich köttbullemacka with red beet salad (rödbetssallad).

What To Do With Leftover Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)

If you are lucky enough to have some leftover, you can reheat and serve as usual, with mashed potatoes. Or you can serve leftover Swedish meatballs over egg noodles, kind of like a stroganoff with gravy.

You can slice the meatballs and prepare a meatball pita pizza with them. They are delicious on a pita pizza.

You can prepare leftover meatball pizza similarly to kebab pizza, with lettuce and kebab sauce or in an Italian style with marinara sauce — it’s up to you!

You can also make a super delectable Swedish style sandwich that is popular in coffee shops.

Swedish meatball sandwich köttbullemacka closeup 1

Swedish meatball sandwich (köttbullemacka), with red beet salad (rödbetssalad), is a delicious open faced sandwich that you will love. It’s too tempting to pass a café (konditori) in Sweden without grabbing one of these.

But once you know how easy it is to make Swedish meatball köttbullemacka at home, you can have these as often as you like!

And seriously, how good must this sandwich be, to prefer to enjoy meatballs without gravy!

Preparation and Storage Tips

If you know you’ll be serving these soon, you can prepare ahead by making the meat mix and leaving it in a sealed container in the fridge. You don’t want to keep raw beef in the refrigerator for long though. You can prepare it earlier in the day for a meal the same day, or at night for the next days lunch or dinner. Keep an eye on the expiration date of the meat to be sure.

Once cooked, the meatballs can be safely kept in the fridge for three days. You can freeze them for about two months for best results. You can freeze the meatball gravy as well, best if in a separate freezer safe container with lid.

You can freeze uncooked meatballs as well for two months.

Save time by making ahead larger batches and freezing some meatballs or meatball mix for future meals. This is helpful when you know you’ll be too busy in upcoming weeks. It’s great to know you have some of the prep work done in advance.

Instant Pot Meatball Variations

Our Instant Pot Italian Style Meatballs Subway Copycat Recipe follow a similar procedure. You’ll definitely want to give them a try as well!

Instead of an IKEA style gravy, they have a garlic infused tomato marinara sauce, that is perfect over spaghetti or pasta. As well, Italian seasoning blend, parmesan cheese and parsley provide an Italian style flavor palette.

We can’t help but have conversations about which meatballs (Swedish or Italian style) we prefer. It’s practically inevitable, given our heritages.

But, rest assured, both recipes are fantastic and we’re sure we can all agree on that! In the end, we’re happy to have two great go-to recipes for meatballs.

You’ll Also Love

This IKEA shrimp sandwich is the perfect sandwich to fuel your shopping trips. It’s another super easy quick meal you can put together at the last minute with rave reviews from all.

ikea shrimp sandwich räksmörgås presentation

More Swedish Recipes

Love Swedish food? Try these classic Swedish recipes:

  • Instant Pot Jansson’s Frestelse — a rich and creamy potato casserole with anchovies and butter, the Instant Pot cooks all of the potatoes tender throughout the dish. No wonder this is called Jannson’s temptation!
  • Seafood Sandwich Cake Smörgåstårta — layers of seafood fillings make up this decadent festive sandwich cake for special occasions.
  • Traditional Smörgåstårta — a meat based sandwich cake with layers of deli style ham and roast beef, as well as a savory layer of liver pate and relish.
  • Kebab Pizza Pita Recipe — make your own kebab meat in the Instant Pot, or use ready made gyro meat for convenience in this restaurant inspired kebab pizza with kebab sauce, lettuce and kebab peppers.
  • Kebab Sauce — doner style kebab white sauce that is perfect to drizzle on your favorite kebab pizzas, kebab rolls (kebabrulle) and chicken pitas and more!
  • Cabbage Pizza Salad — this light and refreshing pizza salad is super satisfying alongside all of your favorite pita pizzas.
  • Mulled Wine (Glögg) — an invitingly warm and cozy warmed wine beverage with spices infused is perfect for the fall and winter seasons!
  • Mini Crepes (plättar) — these mini crepes are a favorite for breakfast or to pack up and take along with you. Serve with jams, Nutella, or with butter.
  • Thin Pancakes (pannkakor) — large crepe style pancakes that are delicious on their own, with butter or with any number of fruit, whipped cream, jam or Nutella fillings. Can be filled with savory toppings as well, for a memorable brunch.
  • Smoked Salmon Gravlax Salad — a snap to prepare, with convenient ingredients like quick to thaw smoked salmon, prepared mesclun or spring salad mix and mustard dill sauce.

These are all recipes that we regularly make for our family. Give them a try and add to your rotation!

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Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs recipe

Instant Pot IKEA Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)

Susan & Björn
If you can't make it to IKEA, don't fret! Delightful in both flavor and simplicity, you can easily add these Swedish style meatballs to your weekly dinner rotation! Serve with mashed potatoes or over egg noodles.
No ratings yet
servings4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Swedish
Calories 403 kcal
Fiber 0.5 g
Carbohydrates 15 g

Equipment

1 Instant Pot 6 Quart
1 Stand Mixer

Ingredients
 
 

Meat Balls

  • ½ pound Ground Beef
  • ½ pound Ground Pork
  • Cup Milk, 3.5% whole milk or 3.25% homogenized
  • ¼ Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tablespoon Onion, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Season Salt, grillkrydda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt, Himalayan
  • 1 tablespoon Butter, or avocado oil, for browning the meatballs

Gravy

  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • ½ Cup Labneh
  • 2 tablespoons Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, combine milk and bread crumbs. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.
    Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs step 1
  • After the milk and bread crumbs have soaked for 10 minutes combine ground beef, ground pork, egg, spices and the milk and bread crumbs. Mix well. If you have a food processor that is able to chop meat, use one for best result.
    Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs step 4
  • Use a tablespoon measuring cup to scoop up equal sized meat mix to form the meatballs. The recipe will make 30-36 meatballs of this size.
    Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs step 5
  • Wet your hands under cold water and form the individual meatballs in the palms of your hands.
    Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs step 6
  • Press Sauté on the instant pot, add the butter and brown half of the meatballs at a time. Make sure the meatballs are browned on all sides before transferring them to a plate.
    Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs step 8
  • When all the meatballs are browned, pour in the chicken broth and deglaze the pot.
    Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs step 9
  • Place a trivet in the instant pot and add all the meatballs to the pot. Pressure cook on High for seven minute. Quick release when completed.
    Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs step 11
  • Transfer the meatballs to a serving bowl and remove the trivet from the instant pot.
  • Add the flour and whisk until all flour is dissolved then add the labneh.
    Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs gravy step 1
  • Sauté for 10-15 minutes until the gravy is thickened. Pour over the meatballs and serve with Instant Pot Mash Potatoes.
    Instant Pot IKEA Swedish meatballs gravy step 2

Additional Information

Note: For a lower carb variation, substitute almond flour for all purpose flour and cream for milk, in the meatball recipe.
For the gravy, you may want to skip or consider making with a low carb flour instead of all purpose, such as very finely ground almond flour or coconut flour, among other options. 
Also, you’ll need to serve with low carb side dishes like cauliflower mash or keto egg noodles instead of mashed potatoes and regular egg noodles. 

Nutrition

Calories: 403kcal Carbohydrates: 15g Fiber: 0.5g Net Carbohydrates: 14g Protein: 30g Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 9g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 128mg Sodium: 1761mg Potassium: 571mg Sugar: 4g Vitamin A: 102IU Vitamin C: 1mg Calcium: 95mg Iron: 3mg

Note

The above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide. If you are following a specific diet or have dietary restrictions, please use your preferred nutritional calculator. If you have a food allergy please ensure that none of the listed ingredients are part of your restrictions. As well, always use a food thermometer to ensure safe cooking temperature of the food items.

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